Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
From 22 October Issue
Certainly my heart is defective: It breaks too
By Linda J. Howard
Most other members of my species, presumably cut from the same mold, seem not to be concerned over the institutionalized killing of animals for "food." Yet, the mere thought of the fear and agony experienced by the "farmed" animals who are killed for no reason other than the greedy desire for the taste of their flesh breaks my heart... My heart must be defective.
Without batting an eye, members of my species abandon companion animals at shelters often for reasons which are trivial, or callous, or based on laziness or apathy. Yes, they know full well that millions of healthy animals are killed each year in shelters and that there are not enough homes for all the animals-in-need, but it does not seem to break their hearts as it does mine. Mental note: Call cardiologist to schedule heart transplant; surely my heart is defective.
It is difficult to accept that those who cause excruciating pain to animals in laboratories (in the name of $cience) are members of the same species. How can they repeatedly shock, burn, blind and experimentally infect sentient animals? Does it not break their hearts as it does mine? Or perhaps it is just that my heart is defective...
Members of my species purchase and wear the furs and skins of animals for vanity's sake. They flaunt what they believe is their prestige, but imagining the original owner of the fur or skin struggling to get free from a Leghold trap, or shrieking in pain while being skinned alive or while being anally electrocuted breaks my heart. Have they no heart or does it confirm, as suspected, that mine is defective?
Those dressed in camouflage who invade the natural homes of wild animals to kill them for what they call "sport" are members of my species. They don't even flinch as their bullets or arrows take the lives of innocent animals. Again, my heart must be defective for it breaks seeing formerly majestic wild animals strapped to the tops of trucks. Will this qualify me for a heart transplant?
At the zoo, members of my species often are teaching their young how to harden their own young hearts. They muse at the sight of incarcerated animals but the pacing of the poor tiger suffering from boredom breaks my heart. Is it ever too late to harden a heart which breaks so easily unlike other members of the same species? Or is a heart transplant in order?
Return to Animals in Print 22 Oct 2001 Issue
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